Often, especially in the start-up world, there is the belief that a great product or service is all you need. However, that is not the case.
In fact, the tech giants listed in this article all mastered distribution. There is no doubt that each of them has excellent products and offer incredible services.
Apple sold over $191 billion worth of iPhones in 2021!
|Apple’s sales breakdown||2021|
|AirPods, Apple TV, Apple Watch, Beats products, HomePod,
iPod touch and accessories
|Services (Company’s advertising, AppleCare, cloud, digital content, payment, and other
As of 2021, the iPhone still represents over 52% of the total sales.
Founded in 1975 Microsoft has survived a few tech bubbles and thrived. In fact, as of the time of this writing, Microsoft is still one of the most valued companies, with a market capitalization of over seven hundred billion dollars.
That is also because the company has been able to use the excess cash it generated in the last decades to acquire new ventures.
In fact, when Microsoft sniffs a trend, it goes all in. For instance, in 2016 Microsoft bought LinkedIn to enter the professional network space.
Today Microsoft is quite diversified and it comprises platforms, like LinkedIn.
|Server products and cloud services||$52.59B|
|Office products and cloud services||$39.87B|
In 2021, Microsoft generated over $168 billion in revenues, with server products and cloud services passing for the first time office products.
Amazon is one of the most disruptive tech companies. It started as an online bookstore to become the everything store; even though most of its revenues come from its store.
It is highly probable that the part of the business related to seller services, subscriptions, and cloud-based services will be the most critical part of the company also from the revenue generation standpoint.
|Amazon Revenue Breakdown||2021|
|Third-party seller services||$103.3B|
Even though Google was a latecomer in the search engine industry, it took it over with the algorithm that changed the web: PageRank.
|Google Revenue Breakdown||2021|
|Google Search & other||$148.95B|
|Google Network Members’||$31.7B|
As of 2021 81% of the revenues come from the advertising networks of Google. In fact, advertising generates over $209 billion dollars in revenues; no doubt that is the cash cow for Google.
It is also true that the company is growing other revenue streams (such as Apps, Google Cloud, and Hardware).
Those sources will grow more and more in the future as Google will rely less on advertising. Google’s business model, and ability to create value for several key players – I argue – is the key ingredient to its success.
In fact, as of 2021 over 97% of its revenues came from advertising.
|Meta Revenue Breakdown||2021||%|
|Other revenue (payments and fees)||$721 Million||0.6%|
|Reality Labs (primarily sales of Oculus, now called Meta Quest)||$2.27 Billion||1.9%|
Throughout the 2020s, Facebook went thru a few turmoils. The latest, which posed a threat to its whole business model, was the Apple privacy change policy, which made Facebook advertising machine way less effective.
This forced Facebook to transition into Meta. A rebrand that was completed in 2022.
Handpicked case studies from the site:
- Amazon Business Model
- Netflix Business Model
- LinkedIn Business Model
- Google Business Model
- Apple Business Model
- Microsoft Business Model
- Baidu Business Model
- Facebook Business Model
- YouTube Business Model
Other resources for your business:
- Business Strategy
- Business Model
- What Is a Business Model Canvas? Business Model Canvas Explained
- Blitzscaling Business Model Innovation Canvas In A Nutshell
- What Is a Value Proposition? Value Proposition Canvas Explained
- What Is a Lean Startup Canvas? Lean Startup Canvas Explained
- How to Write a One-Page Business Plan
- The Rise of the Subscription Economy
- How to Build a Great Business Plan According to Peter Thiel
- What Is The Most Profitable Business Model?
- The Era Of Paywalls: How To Build A Subscription Business For Your Media Outlet
- How To Create A Business Model
- What Is Business Model Innovation And Why It Matters
- What Is Blitzscaling And Why It Matters
- Snapshot: One Year Of “Business Model” Searches On Google In Review
- Business Model Vs Business Plan: When And How To Use Them
- The Five Key Factors That Lead To Successful Tech Startups
- Top 12 Business Ideas with Low Investment and High Profit
- Business Model Tools for Small Businesses and Startups